Can Acupuncture Help You Recover from a Stroke

Acupuncture Points For Stroke Recovery:

1) Neck Point – Cervical Spine (Spinal Cord Injury)

2) Shoulder Point – Thoracic Spine (Pulmonary Embolism)

3) Elbow Point – Lumbar Spine (Pancreatitis/Dysfunction)

4) Knee Point – Lower Limb (Rheumatoid Arthritis/Inflammation/Pain Syndromes).

5) Ankle Point – Upper Limb (Neurological Disorders)

6) Back Point – Lower Limb (Cerebral Anomalies/Brain Damage).

The following are some of the most common types of strokes:

A. Cerebrovascular Disease: A blood clot blocks or damages arteries supplying oxygenated blood to parts of your brain. The result is a temporary loss of consciousness followed by death.

B. Hemorrhagic Stroke: A sudden blockage of blood flow to part of the body’s vital organs causes bleeding into the bloodstream causing severe damage to internal organs and leading to death.

C. Ischemic Stroke: A build up of fluid builds up inside the vessels supplying blood to parts of your brain causing them to burst, resulting in death.

You may have suffered a stroke, but you might not even know it! It’s more common than you think. In fact, about 700,000 people have a stroke each year. Don’t become a statistic. Here are the signs and symptoms of a stroke:

A. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;

B. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;

C. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;

D. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or falling;

E. Severe or persistent headache with no known cause

F. Sudden torso discomfort, especially chest or belly

Research suggests that there are several types of strokes and the type you suffer from will depend on what part of the brain experiences a blockage. It’s important to make a distinction between hemorrhagic strokes and ischemic strokes.

Ischemic strokes are by far the most common, and these can either be embolic or thrombotic. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot (or embolus) travels through the bloodstream from somewhere else in the body and lodges in a brain artery, blocking the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot forms within a brain artery, also blocking the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain.

Hemorrhagic strokes, on the other hand, are less common and occur when a weakened artery ruptures and bleeds into the brain. Although these types of strokes are less common, they’re much more serious and are usually fatal.

The following are some common conditions that can lead to a hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke:

A. Bacterial endocarditis: This is an infection of the heart’s valves. Bacterial endocarditis can lead to a blood clot that causes a stroke.

B. Atrial Fibrillation: In this condition, the upper chambers of the heart quiver chaotically instead of pumping blood in a normal manner. The result is a lack of oxygen in the blood that’s pumped to the brain, causing a stroke.

C. Hypertension: High blood pressure causes progressive and permanent damage to the small blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.

D. Diabetes: This condition causes blood vessels to harden and narrow, which increases the risk of a stroke. In addition, diabetics are prone to nerve damage that can cause a temporary paralysis in one side of the body, which leads to an increased likelihood of falling–a major cause of hemorrhagic strokes.

E. Atrial flutter: This is similar to atrial fibrillation in that it causes an irregular quivering of the atria (the top chambers of the heart).

F. Hyperhomocysteinemia: This is a blood disorder in which the level of an amino acid called homocysteine becomes abnormally high. The condition can lead to clots in the arteries and hence a stroke.

G. Bacterial endocarditis: See above.

H. Carotid artery disease: Narrowing of the carotid arteries that lead to the brain can cause blood clots and hence a stroke.

I. Other heart problems: Any other heart condition that causes decreased blood flow to the brain can increase the risk of a stroke.

The best way to prevent a stroke is to detect the condition that’s causing it and treat it accordingly. If the condition is treatable, you can often eliminate your risk of having a stroke. Here are some things you should look out for:

A. New headaches.

B. New and sudden transient visual disturbances (such as blurred vision).

C. Difficulty speaking.

D. Confusion or changes in mental status.

E. Unexplained fall.


Sources & references used in this article:

Clinical Trial Of Electrical Acupuncture On Hemiplegic Stroke Patients1 by AMK Wong, TY Su, FT Tang, PT Cheng… – American journal of …, 1999 –

Acupuncture for upper-extremity rehabilitation in chronic stroke: a randomized sham-controlled study by PM Wayne, DE Krebs, EA Macklin, R Schnyer… – Archives of physical …, 2005 – Elsevier

Acupuncture and transcutaneous nerve stimulation in stroke rehabilitation: a randomized, controlled trial by BB Johansson, E Haker, M von Arbin, M Britton… – Stroke, 2001 – Am Heart Assoc

Proteomic analysis of serum proteins in acute ischemic stroke patients treated with acupuncture by S Pan, X Zhan, X Su, L Guo, L Lv… – … Biology and Medicine, 2011 –

Acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation by HM Wu, JL Tang, XP Lin, JTF Lau… – Cochrane Database …, 2006 –

Mechanisms of acupuncture therapy in ischemic stroke rehabilitation: a literature review of basic studies by LM Chavez, SS Huang, I MacDonald, JG Lin… – International Journal of …, 2017 –

Acupuncture for acute stroke by S Zhang, M Liu, K Asplund, L Li – Cochrane Database of …, 2005 –

Lateralisation of cerebral response to active acupuncture in patients with unilateral ischaemic stroke: an fMRI study by Y Huang, JQ Chen, XS Lai, CZ Tang… – Acupuncture in …, 2013 –

Acupuncture for stroke: perceptions and possibilities by N Robinson, T Ye, P Ronan… – Acupuncture in …, 2020 –